The cultivation of olive tree seems to have originated in ancient times, in the area between the Armenian, Pamir and Turkestan acrocorous, from where it would then spread to the Mediterranean countries.
Olives were already being cultivated on Crete in the Minoan age (3000-1500 BC), in Egypt in 2000 BC, and in Palestine in 1000 BC.
The Phoenicians, between the IX and VIII centuries BC, introduced olive cultivation to Greece, and the Greeks subsequently introduced it to Sicily.
In Greece, the olive tree was sacred to Minerva, goddess of Wisdom and Health, and in Sicily, as the legend goes, it was the goddess Cerere who taught the shepherd Aristeo how to cultivate the olive and to press its oil.
In the Bible we read that a dove brought Noah an olive twig to announce the end of the Great Flood.
Christian Easter uses the olive branch as a symbol of peace. In the Catholic liturgy, anointing with the holy oil is expected to be of particular importance.
A well-established tradition, therefore, gives the olive a prestigious place among the plants useful to man and assigns it a strong symbolism in religious rituals.
The Mediterranean cuisine, which has had its most ancient and illustrious origins in Greece and Sicily, uses olive oil as a basic condiment, which has preserved its high value over the centuries, especially now that its valuable properties are well-known.